IL- Archbishop Cupich sermon highlighting victim outreach
For immediate release: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected])
Talking about abuse doesn't prevent abuse. Acknowledging the obvious isn’t progress. Neither are vague pledges. Only decisive action prevents abuse.
We'll know Archbishop Cupich is serious about safeguarding kids when he orders all pastors to list all predators in all parish bulletins and posts on his archdiocesan website the whereabouts of at least the living predator priests. And we’ll know he’s serious when he defrocks, demotes, disciplines or denounces several of the current archdiocesan staff who have hidden clergy sex crimes.
We hurt kids, not help them, when we prematurely assume that “the new guy” will somehow automatically be “the new guy” regarding child safety. The only responsible course of action is for all of us to withhold judgment about Cupich and children’s safety until we see tangible decisions – not gestures – that either protect or endanger children.
We urged Cupich to quickly go to a church where Fr. Daniel McCormack worked. We’re glad he is doing this. But this is a symbolic move. In and of itself, it does not safeguard a single child. When he’s there, we hope he goes beyond pablum. He should emphatically beg every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to call law enforcement.
Remember: Just weeks ago, Cupich quietly suspended a credibly accused predator priest but told only his flock, not the public. He refused to disclose when the allegations surfaced. He urged other victims to call church officials, not secular authorities. And he made no mention of possible criminal prosecution or of the need for Catholics and citizens to share what they know about the priest with law enforcement. This is disturbing and reckless.
And remember: Cupich says, in court filings, that his diocesan lawyers should have used a strategy known as a cramdown “[to] prevent more child sex abuse victims from coming forward and being compensated in Spokane.”
Here’s more about Cupich’s deeds – not his words, but his actions – in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases:
So let’s be safe and prudent. Let’s stay vigilant and skeptical. Let’s keep reporting clergy sex crimes and cover ups to secular authorities. Let’s keep reaching out to those who still suffer in shame, silence and self-blame. Let’s make Catholic officials take practical steps to protect kids, not make nice gestures that protect no one.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has over 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)